panache

noun
pa·​nache | \ pə-ˈnash How to pronounce panache (audio) , -ˈnäsh How to pronounce panache (audio) \

Definition of panache

1 : an ornamental tuft (as of feathers) especially on a helmet The palace guard had a panache on his helmet.
2 : dash or flamboyance in style and action : verve flashed his … smile and waved with the panache of a big-city mayor— Joe Morgenstern

Illustration of panache

Illustration of panache

panache 1

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Did You Know?

Few can match the panache of French poet and soldier Cyrano de Bergerac. In his dying moments, he declared that the one thing left to him was his panache, and that assertion at once demonstrates the meaning of the word and draws upon its history. Panache derives via Middle French from Late Latin pinnaculum, meaning "small wing" or "gable," a root that also gave English the word pinnacle. In both French and English, panache originally referred to a showy, feathery plume on a hat or helmet; its "dashing" figurative sense developed from the verve and swagger of one bold enough to wear such an adornment in public. When the dying Cyrano turned his huge nose heavenward and spoke of his panache, his nose became the literal and figurative pinnacle of a multifaceted pun.

Examples of panache in a Sentence

She played the role of hostess with great panache.

Recent Examples on the Web

The job of a great hotel is to spoil and entertain, and the exhibition also does that with panache and a wink. Oscar Humphries, Vogue, "The Glamorous Objets of the Old Ritz Paris, Now on View (and Soon For Sale)," 13 Apr. 2018 Duchovny actually demonstrates some literary panache. Ron Charles, chicagotribune.com, "As a novelist, David Duchovny is no Sean Penn," 3 May 2018 In city where bland, all-glass skins have sadly become the default, the composition offers some welcome panache. Inga Saffron, Philly.com, "This new apartment tower prepares Philly for a world without private cars," 14 Mar. 2018 Lively’s retort was spotted by the Instagram account Comments by Celebs and after mentioning the witty reply, fans of the actress jumped to her defense and saluted her sharp panache. Julius Young, Fox News, "Blake Lively responds to critic who says she should fire her stylist: 'She won't leave me alone'," 24 Aug. 2018 With so much panache, could a new romance be on the horizon? Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What August's Scorpio Horoscope Means for You," 30 July 2018 Both choirs were potent, and Mr. Langrée led his large forces (complete with organ and rock band) with rhythmic punch and stylistic panache. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Mass: A Theater Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers’ Review: Timeless Bernstein," 18 July 2018 Overall: If getting from A to B doesn't involve style or panache, Accent is a solid choice. Kelsey Mays, USA TODAY, "Review: Hyundai Accent is all work and no show," 4 May 2018 Silly songs are a staple of the septet’s multi-faceted repertoire -- and this song stands out on sheer panache. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "BTS' 50 Best Songs: Critics' Picks," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'panache.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of panache

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for panache

Middle French pennache, from Old Italian pennacchio, from Late Latin pinnaculum small wing — more at pinnacle

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Dictionary Entries near panache

panace

panacea

panachage

panache

panached

panachure

panada

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The first known use of panache was in 1553

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More Definitions for panache

panache

noun

English Language Learners Definition of panache

: lots of energy and style

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